The heart-liver metabolic axis: defective communication exacerbates disease



The heart has been recognized as an endocrine organ for over 30 years (de Bold, 2011); however, little is known about how the heart communicates with other organs in the body, and even less is known about this process in the diseased heart. In this issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine, Magida and Leinwand (2014) introduce the concept that a primary genetic defect in the heart results in aberrant hepatic lipid metabolism, which consequently exacerbates hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This study provides evidence in support of the hypothesis that crosstalk occurs between the heart and liver, and that this becomes disrupted in the diseased state.